SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1997

Combustion Testing of Non-Metallic Materials in Ambient and Oxygen-Enriched Atmospheres


A system has been fabricated to study the combustion characteristics of non-metallic materials in stationary and flowing oxygen-enriched atmospheres at ambient conditions. A description of the system and two current research programs underway are presented. In the first program five materials (Kydex V, Kydex 100, Kydex 200, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) plastic and polycarbonate) were evaluated under ambient conditions for their ignition and self-extinguishment characteristics according to two standardized ASTM tests. These five materials are vacuum-formable plastics currently under consideration for use in a series of new ground-transport vehicles being produced for the Olympics to be held in Sydney in 2000. Before these candidate materials can be approved, however, it was necessary to collect data on their ignition and combustion characteristics to ensure that they meet relevant Australian standards. These materials are ranked, from most ignition and burn resistant to least ignition and burn resistant, in the following order: Kydex 200, Kydex 100, Kydex V, polycarbonate, and ABS. The second program evaluated six materials (clear and blue polyethylene, butyl rubber, nitrile rubber, Polyvinylchloride, and silicone rubber) due to their common use as endotracheal tube materials. These materials, in a standard configuration, are evaluated as a function of tube material and combustion characteristics. Results given include flame characteristics, burn time, flame spread velocity and fuel burn rate. None of the six materials evaluated are appropriate choices for an endotracheal tube material if any ignition sources are present due to the vigorous burning exhibited.

Author Information

Steinberg, TA
University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
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Developed by Committee: G04
Pages: 370–384
DOI: 10.1520/STP12065S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5372-1
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2401-1